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The latest news about environmental and green
technologies – renewables, energy savings, fuel cells

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Engineers provide free code to help build better batteries

Researchers have developed a way for lithium-ion battery developers to determine in early stages whether a new material for the batteries will work. The team developed a freely available code that battery developers can use as a model to determine the optimal profile needed to charge a lithium-ion battery as well as any stresses that might be put on the materials used.

Posted: Jan 9th, 2014

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Metal-free flow battery offers renewable energy breakthrough

A team of Harvard scientists and engineers has demonstrated a new type of battery that could fundamentally transform the way electricity is stored on the grid, making power from renewable energy sources such as wind and sun far more economical and reliable.

Posted: Jan 8th, 2014

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Climate change: How does soil store CO2?

Scientists have now discovered how organic carbon is stored in soil. Basically, the carbon only binds to certain soil structures. This means that soil's capacity to absorb CO2 needs to be re-assessed and incorporated into today's climate models.

Posted: Jan 8th, 2014

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Researchers find a new cellulose digestion mechanism by a fast-eating enzyme

Researchers at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory have discovered that an enzyme from a microorganism first found in the Valley of Geysers on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia in 1990 can digest cellulose almost twice as fast as the current leading component cellulase enzyme on the market.

Posted: Jan 7th, 2014

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The Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Structure Index online database

Recently, a new website containing a wealth of information on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was made publicly available by NIST. PAHs are compounds that are produced during the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels and have significant adverse health and environmental effects. The website contains data on more than 650 PAH compounds, with many more to be added in the near future.

Posted: Jan 7th, 2014

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Suburban sprawl cancels carbon footprint savings of dense urban cores

According to a new study, population-dense cities contribute less greenhouse gas emissions per person than other areas of the country, but these cities' extensive suburbs essentially wipe out the climate benefits. Dominated by emissions from cars, trucks and other forms of transportation, suburbs account for about 50 percent of all household emissions in the United States.

Posted: Jan 6th, 2014

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Synthetic natural gas from excess electricity

'Power to gas' is a key concept when it comes to storing alternative energy. This process converts short-term excess electricity from photovoltaic systems and wind turbines into hydrogen. Combined with the greenhouse gas CO2, renewable hydrogen can be used to produce methane, which can be stored and distributed in the natural gas network. Empa researchers have now succeeded in further optimising this process.

Posted: Jan 6th, 2014

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Researchers find ways to minimize power grid disruptions from wind power

Researchers have found that an increase in the use of wind power generation can make the power grid more fragile and susceptible to disruptions. But the researchers didn't just identify the problem - they have also devised a technique for coordinating wind power generation and energy storage in order to minimize the potential for such power disruptions.

Posted: Jan 3rd, 2014

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